The Tournament

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OK, here’s the 50¢ synopsis of this movie.  Every seven years, a random town is selected to be the unwitting host to a tournament of the world’s greatest assassins, who all try to kill each other within a 24 time period in order to win a cash prize of £10 million and the title of last assassin standing.  The town is rigged with CCTVs and in a shadowy room somewhere, equally shadowy people bet millions on the proceedings.  Robert Carlyle plays Father MacAvoy, a priest in the aforementioned town, who accidentally gets tagged with a chip identifying him as one of the contestants.  Let the games begin.

If you read this and still think the movie sounds interesting, you might just like it. It really is an all out war of professional assassins, all trying to kill each other for prize money. You have to assume there is going to be a fair degree of violence, language, gore and whatnot, but boy is the whatnot entertaining. Robert Carlyle is spot on as a not-very-good clergyman who accidentally gets caught up in this madness and most everyone assumes he’s another assassin playing the ‘I’m just a priest’ card (doesn’t every deck have one of those?). Kelly Hu‘s character Lai Lai Zhen, quite vicious in her own right, takes pity on him and tries to protect him while other characters gleefully kill one another.

Ian Somerhalder, a particularly favorite actor of mine (whom I think would have been a superior Christian Grey), plays sadistically psychotic cowboy Miles Slade in one of his best performances. Don’t expect Damon from The Vampire Diaries or Boone from Lost, this whack job is a whole new brand of unhinged.  Ving Rhames also enters the fray as Joshua Harlow, in an attempt to solve the murder of his wife.  The Onion Knight, otherwise known as Liam Cunningham, hosts the whole thing as the appropriately named Powers.

I think my favorite scene involved one character pulling the pin out of another assassin’s grenade, letting the pin lazily swing around their raised middle finger as the first character proceeds to explode after the obligatory comedic pause. I laughed myself sick at that one simply because it was so unexpected but rather elegant. This movie is unapologetically violent and graphic, deserving its R rating. If you get a kick out of watching bad people kill one another in increasingly creative ways, this movie is definitely for you. Robert Carlyle’s character provides the anchor to reality, puzzling the assassins by his very existence. He ties the whole thing together and his journey of self-discovery was fun to watch as both he and the other contestants slowly learn who the real bad guys are.  It’s not the best movie and will have limited appeal, but if want to watch what boils down to assassin population control, I highly recommend it.  – BETHANY

For more on The Tournament, visit the Internet Movie Database

Sorry dearie, I can’t help you.  I’m a bit sloshed.

All right, all right, I’ll go the full monty!

‘I would have been the perfect Christian Grey!  I’m already fabulous at playing 50 shades of messed up characters. But noooo, they had to cast Jamie Dornan!’  Ian Somerhalder being not very nice to Ving Rhames.

People with way too much time and money on their hands.

No, this picture isn’t upside down.  Sebastien Foucan as Anton Bogart.

“What’s the matter, Mr. Harlow? Are you out of bullets? Why, here, have some of mine!”  John Lynch as Gene Walker.

I think the scar put him in a perpetually bad mood.  Scott Adkins as Yuri Petrov.

A three piece suit and a trench coat?  Come on, Ving, you’re making the rest of us look bad!

Does this qualify as a meet cute?

Oh the glamour of being in the movies!  Kelly Hu and Robert Carlyle.

 

Here’s the bit with the grenade:

 

Photos courtesy of Mann Made Films, Sherazade Film Development, Storitel, AV Pictures and Dimension Films (unless otherwise credited in clickable form)

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